Ark Anglers

Abe Gaspar

Abe hails from Fort Lauderdale, FL but has spent the last twenty years fly fishing the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers. While the Arkansas is where he does most of his guiding (wade trips), his areas of specialization include large browns and rainbows on the South Platte, big rainbows on Spinney and Antero Reservoirs, and carp fishing on Elevenmile Reservoir. Abe winters in Florida where he pursues Peacock and Largemouth Bass in the Everglades and works the Bass Pro Shop in Dania.


Bill Dobson

Bill knows that flyfishing has changed his life for the better, and he loves sharing the Arkansas River and her trout. Bill moved with his family to the valley over 20 years ago and immediately knew that if he started flyfishing, it would be all he wanted to do. He bought his first rod in 1995, and life hasn't been the same since. His passion brings him to the river almost daily (even in the winter!), and he can be found somewhere between Leadville and Canon City on those days. Bill began guiding for Arkanglers in '98. He's a Rotary Club Past-President, enjoys trail running and mountain biking, and spends time in the winter hosting at Monarch and studying the Telemark turn.


Billy Hicks

Billy Hicks has had a rod and reel in hand as long as he can remember.  As a child growing up in "Missoura", he spent countless hours spin and bait fishing the many farm ponds and muddy rivers that cover the northern part of the state.  He was introduced  to fly fishing many years ago by a great friend and honed his skills on the Animas and San Juan Rivers in the Four Corners area.  He now lives in Salida and works year round as a guide snowmobiling the backcountry in the winter and float fishing the rest of the year on the Arkansas.  When not bobbing down the river you will find him exploring the high lakes and "cricks" of this beautiful valley.


Braden Baker

Braden Baker is the youngest staff member at ArkAnglers by several decades.  His passions include counting flies and practicing nail knots.  Growing up an avid bird hunter in west Texas, his love of the mountains and cold, clear water led him from the finance world in Dallas to Colorado.  Most days you'll find him managing the Arkanglers shop in Buena Vista, otherwise he's hiking into Brown's Canyon with a 5 weight and a Chernobyl Ant or trekking to one of the valley's high lakes.


Chuck Prather

Chuck Prather has been guiding wade trips in Colorado for over twenty years. While his regular haunts are on the northern front range, he guides with ArkAnglers regularly and is a valued part of our team. His emphasis on teaching makes him a frequently requested guide. Visit Chuck at www.flyfishingservicesinc.com.


Dan Stockton

Dan Stockton “grew up” surfing Santa Monica and Malibu, succumbed eventually to his entrepreneurial urges, and ended up in Buena Vista about 15 years ago. A committed angler and guide, he has worked with ArkAnglers for seven years and has developed a loyal following. He also teaches our introductory clinics at several area guest ranches. Fishing poses family challenges for many of us; Dan’s personal issue is that his daughter lives in Bozeman. Rather than choosing between family and fishing, he has to choose between rivers – tough duty! An unrelenting optimist, Dan concurs with Lord Tweedsmuir in his characterization of fly-fishing as “a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”


Greg Felt

Greg's goal is to be the worst guide at ArkAnglers. "As guide service manager, if I can inspire these guys to outdo me on a daily basis, both our customers and the company will benefit." Greg has guided float-fishing and whitewater on the Arkansas since 1985. "The end is not in sight," says Greg. "I've spent my best years doing this and, at this point, I am untrainable for any other occupation." Join him on the river, or at one of the many seminars he gives over the winter.


Hayden Mellsop

Hayden is a transplanted New Zealander, who first came to the Salida area in 1990. He has guided extensively both in Colorado and the rivers of the central North Island of New Zealand, and has been with ArkAnglers since our founding in 1999.
In addition to guiding for ArkAnglers, Hayden is a realtor with Pinon Real Estate Group (www.home-waters.com ), specializing in recreational and investment properties. A strong conservationist, he is current board president of the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas. He writes articles and posts videos on his own blog www.flyfishsalida.com, and writes a regular column for High Country Angler magazine. He lives in Salida, is married to Kym and is the proud father of two daughters.


Jera "Pink" Vinton

A native Vermonta', and lifelong fisherman, Jera("Pink"), moved to the Salida area in '86, and after running whitewater for 14+ years, he "evolved" into one of the original ArkAnglers float guides. After spending the past 6 years living out East and chasing lunkers, from Maine stripers to New York steelhead, he has returned and is fullfilling his dream by living on the banks of the Arkansas, where beautiful fish are mere spitting distance from his backdoor. Though his specialty is float trips, he also has extensive experience hiking for high mountain cutthroats and stalking lakes for "beastly" carp.
Pink enjoys many outdoor activities, including ski patrolling in the winter, but ultimately, "fishing is what truly floats my boat". His stories can be found on his web page, "Blue Balls Diaries", on www.flyfishsalida.com.


Kevin "Caveman" Potter

Caveman Potter has worked the Arkansas in a whitewater and fishing capacity since 1986, transitioning to full-time fly-fishing guiding in 2003. He winters in Isle Morada, Florida, where he guides saltwater trips, and summers in the Salida area, float fish guiding through the summer and fall. The river life has been good to Cave. In a recent interview, when asked what he likes most about guiding on the Arkansas, his response was both expansive and concise: "Yes," he said.


Larry Friedrichs

A native Coloradoan with 50 years chasing trout, Larry is not content to let a day pass without making it memorable - both for him and his guests. Seventeen years guiding multi-day trips through the Grand Canyon made him a rock-solid boater and an organized and efficient guide. Now he brings that experience to bear on our regional fisheries, guiding float and wade trips on the river and power boat trips on area reservoirs. When not guiding, hunting or horseback riding, Larry is out on the water doing research or working on new fly patterns. Facebook him at 'Larry Friedrichs' or visit him at http://wwwfishspotter.blogspot.com.


Lucas Talbot

Lucas was born in Salida and spent his youth fishing the Arkansas and surrounding waters. And though it took him years to form an occupation from his avocation, everyone who knows him now wonders why. A versatile team player, Lucas works the Salida shop and guides both float and wade trips through the season. In the winter, he divides his time between ice holes and the fly shop, helping people catch fish year-round. When asked what he likes most about his work, he replied, “I really love helping people. Helping them learn the skills of fly-fishing and then putting them onto a lot of fish. It is very rewarding work.”


Mark Hanks

Mark grew up in New England where when not concentrating on his business and innovation pursuits, he was fly fishing and exploring many of its northern rivers, streams and ponds over a period of 40+ years.  Now a resident of Colorado, Mark is living his dream through his work with Ark Anglers in the spring, summer and fall as a “walk and wade” guide and during the winter with Breckenridge as a ski instructor.  Mark is a dedicated life-long learner and thoroughly enjoys collaborating with his fellow guides and colleagues sharing techniques, fishing locations, fly patterns and successful overall experiences for our guests. 


Mark Richardson

Mark is a Buena Vista native who winters in the Keys and summers on the home water. A licensed captain, he spends November-March chasing sailfish, tarpon and bonefish. April through October finds him working the Arkansas, where he excels at float-fish guiding. For Mark, the Arkansas is a great teaching river. Many of his fondest memories derive from helping anglers land their first fish on a fly. "The challenge of teaching and then watching it all come together as the day goes on is truly rewarding to me."


Preston Larimer

Preston first picked up a fly rod in 1978, and has fished ever since. Experienced both in freshwater and tropical salt water, he is also skilled in fly tying. He is professionally trained as a Wildlife Biologist, and has taught natural resources, environmental education and biology on both the college and high school level.  He is also a skilled naturalist and birder. After learning fly fishing on eastern and Midwestern trout and steelhead streams, he guided for 12 years in the Missouri Ozarks and the Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming.  He has fished the Arkansas Headwaters for the past 20 years, and he and his wife moved to the valley in 2008 to start Rock Run Gallery in Buena Vista (rockrungallery.com). 


Rachel Kohler

Rachel grew up fishing California lakes, though truth be known, it was often with bait she didn’t want to touch.  Thankfully, she was introduced  to the fly rod, on a backcountry trip in Colorado, and she hasn’t looked back.  One of ArkAngler’s newer guides, she came to us in search of a “different kind of connection with place and people.”  Currently, she splits her time between the water and the Denver Front Range, where she is also a Lieutenant at a fire department.


Rob Whitman

Rob began flyfishing almost twenty five years ago and began tying his own flies shortly thereafter. Over the years he has become very interested in aquatic entomology and this has greatly benefitted his fly tying. With Arkanglers since 2005, he really looks forward to meeting new people and assisting them in maximizing their enjoyment and effectiveness as anglers. He has fished all the western states but California. However, he finds it very tough to leave the Arkansas these days to fish any other water - "We have a great fishery which only seems to get better with each year."


Rod Patch

Rod has lived in three places thus far in life, Carbondale Colorado, Dutch John Utah, and Salida Colorado, or the Roaring Fork, the Green, and the Arkansas.  Flyfishing has been a part of his life since he was 8.  Turning a passion into a profession is always risky but despite all the pitfalls Rod's passion is still elk hunting....and flyfishing.  Most of his time on the water these days are with his two daughters Madie-Mae and Raley.  Instilling in them the life lessons that can be learned float fishing a river.


Stuart C. Andrews

A resident of the state since 1960, Stuart has been a flyfisher since 13 and a guide for ArkAnglers since 2004. During a fishing/guiding journey of 42 years that has included the Arkansas, Fryingpan, Roaring Fork, South Platte, Poudre, Big Thompson, and San Miguel Rivers, there has always been one constant, the high lakes of Colorado. Many summer days you can find him someplace above timberline leading guests to pristine waters holding cutthroat trout or doing "research" to ensure their success. When not on the water, Stuart can usually be found in his studio, paintbrush in hand. His internationally recognized artwork can be viewed at www.viewgallery.com or in our shops after your fishing adventure.